When the weather is humid and hot, what do you like to eat?
I tend to favor things with vinegar in them because the sourness paired with a little sweetness is somehow refreshing to me.
This is what I made for dinner last night: Tako sunomono & kinpira
Tako sunomono (Octopus marinated in vinegar)-serves 4
150g boiled tako(octopus) legs
20g wakame (kelp)
Marinade: 6 tablespoons vinegar
1.5 tablespoons sugar
1.5 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
1.5 tablespoons dashi (stock)--if none on hand, just water will be fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)
Slice the cucumber thin and salt, leave for at least 3 minutes
Take hot water and pour it over the tako legs (this is to get rid of the fishy smell it may have, plus get the tako ready to soak in the marinade)
Cut tako & wakame into bite size pieces
Assemble marinade, put everything in.
When serving, you can add some wasabi on the side.
Another type of food that I like to make is something spicy. The second dish I made for dinner was kinpira. It was the first time for me to try this recipe and boy, was it good! Be sure to serve it with lots of rice.
Adapted from "Orange Page--Obaachan no aji (book 5)"
1 package pre-cleaned kinpira mix*
200g minced pork
1.5 tablespoons sesame seed oil
1/2 teaspoon tobanjan (Chinese chili paste)
1 tablespoon miso (soy bean paste)
2 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)
Rinse kinpira mix and set aside. *you can sometimes find kinpira mix in the refrigerated sections or freezer sections, it should have gobo (burdock), carrots and sometimes renkon (lotus root) in it.
Add oil to pan and coat kinpira mix well.
Add tobanjan, when you can smell the chilies, add the pork.
Cook until pork changes color, then add rest of seasonings.
Cook until most of the liquid evaporates.
Both dishes pair nicely with beer and can be served as pupus (Hawaiian for appetizers). Be sure to make the sunomono in advance so it can take in some of the marinade. If you are a working mom or dad, you could probably make the sunomono the night before, or both dishes the night before, so that when you come home you can just heat up the kinpira. You can also cut back the fat from the kinpira by making the dish in advance and scraping off the oil the next day.